Roasted Indian Chicken Curry


oasting (especially if done slowly) always brings out a flavour that can’t be beaten by quick or lazy cooking. Combining amazing spices, some ginger heat and of course some coconut milk and popping this in a hot oven care free was the ideal way to focus my time, attention and love on a juicy glass (ahem…shared bottle) of Syrah from South Africa (see foot note). I’d recommend cooking this on a Sunday if you fancy a change from a roast but with all the depth of flavour. Feel free to experiment with different spices, cuts of meat or side dishes. My nigella seed flatbreads dipped in mango chutney would work a treat. This is also a very mild curry (note, no chilli) so don’t expect to be punched by heat! But do add accordingly if that’s how you want your Sunday evening.

TIP: This can by all means be made simply roasted in tray from start to finish with no fuss! (I opted to use a tray and then a casserole dish but this can be ignored). Roasting in a deep roasting tin then adding the coconut milk gives you crispy potatoes, chicken and minimal washing up. When you ‘roast’ in a casserole dish you don’t get the circulation of air and the crispy finish that you do when in a tray so this is preferred. However, I often like to manipulate the sauce consistency so I prefer to manage this by adding to a casserole once ready to add the coconut milk. But this is up to you!!

Serves 2

  • 4 x chicken pieces on the bone (2 x thighs and 2 x drumsticks)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g small potatoes/new potatoes (halved if needed)
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 x can coconut milk
  • Handful curry leaves
  • 150g frozen peas
  • Large handful green beans
  • 1 lime
  • Bunch coriander, chopped


  • Knob of ginger, freshly grated – 2 tbsp
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 limes, zest only (reserve for serving)
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 large tsp ground garam masala
  • Sunflower oil

To serve

  • Popadoms
  • Mango chutney
  • Chopped coriander
  • Lime wedges (from marinade)
  1. Start by marinating the chicken (at least 30 minutes before, overnight if possible). Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add the chicken and potatoes. Add a few tsp of sunflower oil and use your hands to fully coat. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. This can be made in either a roasting tray OR a large flameproof casserole dish however I found the combination of the two the best (see above tip). Drizzle a little oil in the roasting tray and add the sliced red onions and garlic. Remove the chicken and potatoes from the fridge and add to the dish. Make sure the skin of the chicken is facing upwards and that the chicken is sitting on top of the everything.
  4. Roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a high heat and dry fry the fennel, coriander, cumin and mustard seeds for a few minutes, just until fragrant. Remove form the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar.
  6. Add these spices and the ground spices to the coconut milk and whisk. Add the curry leaves.
  7. After 50 minutes, remove the tray from the oven. Transfer the contents to a large casserole dish, ensuring your scrap all the delicious goodness off the bottom.
  8. Add the coconut milk (avoiding soaking the crispy chicken skin if you can) and ensure again that the chicken pieces are facing upwards, skin on the top.
  9. Bake in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  10. After this time, add the beans, peas and a generous squeeze of lime. Return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
  11. When ready to serve, scatter over the chopped coriander. Serve with popadoms and mango chutney.

WINE: We devoured this with a delicious Syrah from South Africa from the gorgeous Vrede en Lust. Benefits from decanting.